On the Open Road

Road trips are the staple of many American family vacations. Whether it’s to someplace new or a family favorite, a road trip can be a lot of fun. Veteran road trippers have their favorite snacks and nostalgic playlists. There is a road trip out there for everyone, no matter how much time you have to dedicate to it. 

A Brief History

According to Time Magazine, people have always romanticized the idea of traveling away. In the early 20th century people from the cities dreamed of escaping the cramped city center, although road trips as we think of them today weren’t a reality yet. The very first road trip across America was taken in 1903 by Dr. Horatio Nelson Jackson according to SFGate. The journey from San Francisco to New York took 63 days and cost $8,000! Luckily this same trip today wouldn’t cost you nearly as much or take as long. 


Picking where you want to go or what you want to see is the first step, but you don’t always have to have an answer! If you just want to see something, you can grab some snacks, hop in the car, and drive in any direction you choose. You can drive as far as you have the inclination to go. You never know — you could discover your new favorite place by accidentally stumbling into it. 

Safety and Precautions 

Before embarking on a road trip there are several steps you should take to ensure your safety. Popular Mechanics has this checklist for your car to make sure its in road trip shape. You should have an emergency kit in your car with things like batteries, flashlights, a blanket, energy bars, bottled water, cat litter (great for gaining traction in the snow!), as well as anything else you personally might need to feel safer. Inform someone you are going and how long you expect to be gone (and update them if the plans change). Having a cell phone (even if it is just a prepaid one) with you will go a long way to ensure you don’t end up stranded if you run into problems. 

Why Drive?

With planes and trains and buses, why should you drive instead? While these other modes of transportation have their own benefits, driving to your destination creates another layer to your vacation. You have the ability to see more sights, discover more hidden gems, and create lasting memories with anyone you bring with you. So, why not drive?